City seeks buyer for development

The city has finalized plans to sell about 10 acres at Second and Lafayette streets to be developed into a hotel, extended living and apartment complex with some commercial development.

Mayor Kristen Brown sent out a Request for Offers on Wednesday to Columbus Redevelopment Commission members asking if any other developers should be included in a 15-member list of prospects.

Responses are due Dec. 1, when a special meeting of the commission is planned at 5 p.m. to open any proposals that are received, Brown told redevelopment commission members.

Last month, commission members and the Columbus City Council agreed to seek a buyer to take on an estimated $60 million project for the housing development. The group settled on apartments, town homes and a hotel, with commercial development on the first floor.

Two companies responded to the city’s Request for Qualifications announcement earlier this year for ideas for the project. Altera Development, part of Avison Young of Dallas, sent artist renderings showing a seven-story, mixed-use building, with 23,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and apartments and townhomes on the property.

RealAmerica of Fishers also sent a response indicating interest in the project, although the company did not send artistic renderings of its ideas.

Both companies are among the group that will receive the Request for Offers, city officials said.

The Request for Offers also is being sent to three Columbus companies, including Hickory Investors LLC, Sprague Co. and Cornerstone Development, a list with the announcement states.

Three parcels make up the property, which appraised in total in a range of $1.23 to $1.5 million from two assessors.

The Request for Offers say responses may include offers to purchase any or all of the lots.

Bob’s Car Wash, on property at 711 Second St., is carved out of the lots being offered, but city officials have said it will be up to the developer to negotiate a purchase with owner Robert Cseszko.

The redevelopment commission attempted to buy the car wash property in 2012 for $500,000, which Cseszko rejected, city records show.

Redevelopment commission consultant Doug Pacheco said city officials had heard from companies including Cummins Inc. and other manufacturers that the city needs apartments, extended-stay temporary housing and a hotel. The city also has been told that more hotel rooms will help the city increase its sports tourism efforts.

About the project

Project: Second and Lafayette streets property redevelopment

What: Columbus is seeking a buyer to purchase and redevelop three parcels of property, about 10 acres along Second Street near the Bartholomew County Jail.

City’s goals: The city wants to improve the existing property by having a multiple-use area with a combination of a hotel, market rate apartment complex, townhomes, extended stay options, on-site parking and creative use of greenspace. Commercial use is sought on the first floor of a structure being considered for the property.

Offers to purchase: Offers will be considered at 5 p.m Dec. 1 by the Columbus Redevelopment Commission at City Hall, 123 Washington St.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.